More than 2.3m families living in fuel poverty in England

Tories urged to act as one in 10 households is fuel poor, rising to about one in five for those renting from private landlords.

More than 2.3 million families are living in fuel poverty in England – the equivalent of 10% of households, according to government statistics.

Almost 60,000 households in Birmingham alone cannot afford to heat their homes. The figures from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy show the West Midlands city is worst affected, with Leeds, Cornwall, Manchester and Liverpool also in the top five local authorities where households face “eat or heat” choices in winter.

read more here: http://www.welfareweekly.com/more-than-2-3m-families-living-in-fuel-poverty-in-england/

 

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Number of private renters made homeless has trebled since 2010, figures reveal

Private renters account for 96 per cent of the rise in homelessness since 2010

The number of private renters being made homeless is at a near-record high and has more than trebled under the Conservative government, an analysis of new official statistics by The Independent has found.

Thousands of renters each month are being deemed officially homeless by local councils after being evicted by private landlords and struggling to pay rents that have risen across the country by more 20 per cent since 2010.

The figures show a huge rise in people becoming homeless at the end of assured short hold tenancies (ASTs) – the most common agreement used by private landlords – since 2010.

In the year to September 2016, 18,820 private renting households were made homeless, compared with just 5,580 in the year to September 2010.

Critics accused Government ministers of “sitting on their hands” while renters face increasingly stark consequences if they fail to keep up with soaring rents.

Private renters at the end of their tenancies made up just one in seven homeless households in 2010. Today, that has risen to one in three, meaning the proportion has more than doubled in just six years.

Private tenants being evicted by a landlord at the end of a tenancy is now the most common cause of homelessness.

read more here: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/private-renters-homeless-trebled-2010-rent-conserative-government-david-cameron-theresa-may-london-a7502511.html

Private firms pocket more than £500m from hated disability benefit assessments

Two private firms responsible for carrying out disability benefit assessments on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have pocketed more than half a BILLION pounds of taxpayers cash, despite thousands of “inaccurate assessments” being later overturned in favour of claimants.

Data collected by The Mirror reveals Atos and Capita have made more than £500m from Personal Independence Payment assessments, since the new disability benefit was introduced to replace Disability Living Allowance in 2013.

read more here: http://www.welfareweekly.com/private-firms-pocket-more-than-500m-from-hated-disability-benefit-assessments/

Dad DIES 10 months after Job Centre bosses told his doctor not to write any more sick notes

The DWP wrote to James Harrison’s doctor behind his back and declared him fit for work 10 months before he died

A seriously ill dad died just 10 months after Department for Work and Pensions bosses advised his GP not to write any more sick notes for him.

James Harrison had been declared “fit for work” and should not get medical certificates, the letter said.

read more here:http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/dwp-told-dying-dads-gp-9529945?ICID=FB_mirror_main

Debenhams soak homeless man on Boxing Day – ruin his clothes, donated food

Pride's Purge

UPDATE: Debenhams now claim the soaking of a homeless man by a store security guard who then laughed and said the man deserved it – was “an unfortunate accident”.

Posted on Facebook yesterday evening:

homeless-debenhams

What have we become in the UK – a nation of bullies?

.

For those asking, it was Debenhams in Portsmouth.

Text version:

So to some of you you know my predicament of being homeless. But yesterday morning I woke up feeling wet socks and clothes thought I might of left a bottle open or something. I then get told by the security of Debenhams I have 10 minutes which was fine. But as he walked away he said enjoy your water bed. So I bite back as it being boxing day. So I then begin to pack up my bedding to then discover that the secunity guard from the inside of debenhams had flooded all my…

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Private firms rake in half a BILLION pounds for cruel disability benefit assessments

Atos and Capita earn the fees assessing people for PIP despite thousands having their cases overturned on appeal

Fit-to-work firms Atos and Capita have earned more than £500m of taxpayer cash running a hated Tory scheme to assess people for disability benefits.

Analysis of Government data by the Mirror shows the two firms were paid £211m for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessments in the first 11 months of 2016.

That was up from £198m in 2015, £91m in 2014 and £7m in 2013, the year PIP launched.

PIP is designed to help disabled people live independently and is replacing the old Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

Yet despite the assessments’ £507m price tag, thousands of decisions based on them are being overturned on appeal.

Figures to September 2016 show 61% of 90,000 claimants who appealed against a PIP decision at a tribunal won their case.

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said: “This adds to the suspicion that these companies are just driven by a profit motive, and the incentive is to get the assessments done, but not necessarily to get the assessments right.

read more here: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/private-firms-rake-half-billion-9515131#ICID=ios_TMNewsApp_AppShare_Click_Other

 

Malnutrition has tripled since 2008 but the Tories say the cause can’t be identified. It’ll be ESA

Isn’t it interesting that the official figures show malnutrition increasing hugely, year-on-year, from 2008 onwards – the year when Employment and Support Allowance was introduced – but the Conservative Government is insisting that no cause can be identified?

ESA, with the hated, nonsensical Work Capability Assessment that governs whether a claimant qualifies for the benefit, was introduced in 2008.

This Blog ran an article on the increase in malnutrition in November, but reader Tony Dean went further – requesting information from the Department of Health.

In the financial year 2007-8, there were 7,695 primary diagnoses of malnutrition – up from 6,704 the previous year. Secondary diagnoses had fallen from 58,344 the previous year to 57,052.

From then on, the figures started to increase – hugely. In 2015-16 there were 17,166 primary diagnoses of malnutrition and a massive 167,362 secondary diagnoses.

Primary diagnoses describe the most serious or resource-intensive condition suffered by a patient who is hospitalised for any period of time. A secondary diagnosis describes those conditions that coexist at the time of admission, or develop subsequently, and that affect the patient for the current episode of care.

So we are seeing not only an increase in malnutrition as an illness in its own right, but a massive increase in it as a contributory factor to other illnesses.

The information may be found here. It was provided by Health Under-Secretary Nicola Blackwood in response to a question by Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth in November.

Ms Blackwood said: “The cause of the malnutrition is not presented in these figures and it not possible to make assumptions on which factor was responsible for the admission.

read more here: http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2016/12/21/malnutrition-has-tripled-since-2008-but-the-tories-say-the-cause-cant-be-identified-itll-be-esa/